The new documentary Netflix just picked up, Root Cause, is aiming to put a stop to a medical practice that's been accepted for nearly 2 centuries. To ask hundreds of thousands of medical professionals to admit that they had it wrong all along. To reverse our own beliefs and expose how truly naive we actually are about our own bodies.
I was halfway through the film before the sheer gravity of its message hit me: This could change EVERYTHING!
Root Cause follows the real-life journey of a young man named Ben Purser and his search for answers to his own health questions.
What's causing his panic attacks? His inability to get out of bed? His constant anxiety? His crippling depression?
He tries therapy, antidepressants, juice cleanses, chakra balancing, hypnosis... He even drinks his own urine.
Exhausted and hopeless, he's at yet another hail mary doctor's appointment and is FINALLY given the surprising answer that would end his 10-year battle. He was diagnosed with... an infected root canal?
Root canals are one of the most common procedures in dentistry. During a root canal the nerve is removed from a badly decayed tooth and after the inside of the tooth has been cleaned and sealed, it's considered safe and left in your mouth.
The film claims, however, that what you're left with is actually an extremely UNsafe situation.
They argue that leaving that dead tissue behind creates a breeding ground for infection that still has access to your entire body - but your immune system no longer has access to IT. They go on to say that because your nerves are removed, you have no pain triggers to let you know anything's wrong, which leaves the infection completely unchecked as it spreads dangerous bacteria throughout your body for DECADES.
The film's claims get even bolder:
"Root canals are one of the largest causes of cancer, heart disease and chronic illness, and yet 25 million are still performed each year in the USA alone."
"Root canals are probably one of the most toxic, hidden influences to your health. If you're sick and have a root canal, please examine that issue."
They warn that if you have even 1 root canal, you should get it removed. And if you've been told you need a root canal... run!
Oh and basically if you have cancer or depression or heart disease or seizures or ANYTHING there's a fairly good chance your mouth has been the culprit all along.
Now even if we're not buying everything they're selling just yet, as you watch the film, you'll have to admit their case is compelling.
The uphill battle
I wondered what the dental community had to say about Root Cause. I found reviews that were all over the board.
Some dentists have been screaming this all along, others are unsure but agree the evidence is intriguing, others are vehemently trying to discredit everything in the film down to the researchers' personal lives.
It made me think of a speech given by one of my favorite writers, Malcolm Gladwell, to a group of college students a few years ago.
He told the story of Frederick Hoffmann who was charged with investigating the Black Lung Disease in 1917. Frederick made the startling discovery that there was a clear correlation between black lung deaths and poor working conditions in American coal mines.
Once his findings went public he expected a massive overhaul to improve mine conditions - but nothing happened. Not one change was made. WHY? Because change rarely works like that. It wasn't until decades later that the industry admitted they were wrong and improved mine conditions - and only then did the black lung deaths stop.
We, as humans, have this peculiar tendency to cite the need for absolute proof as an excuse NOT to take action. This behavior, Gladwell asserts, often leaves people suffering unnecessarily.
Could this documentary, made by a private filmmaker, be the Black Lung Investigation of its time?
If their evidence is correct, will we wait too long for proof and suffer unnecessarily for decades?
For me, the jury's still out on some of the more extreme claims the film makes, but I'm sold enough to at least start looking into alternatives to root canals.
What other options are out there?
Well, the very best option is to take care of your teeth before a root canal is ever needed (I know, but I had to say it).
The next best thing is to replace your tooth with a dental implant, but not just any dental implant.
As cited in the film, metal dental implants create breeding grounds for bacteria and because they decay and have no effective way to be cleaned, they're just as bad as getting root canals.
The safest way to replace a tooth is with a metal-free, ceramic (or Zirconia) dental implant.
-Ceramic implants are the most natural and biocompatible solution with our bodies.
-They have the lowest bone resorption rate and inflammatory response.
-They are bioinert, so they won't promote corrosion, plaque formation or peri-implantitis.
-They're metal-free, so they won't release metal particles and bacteria into the bloodstream.
We control our health
As Ben Purser puts it, "New knowledge is never immediately adopted - rather the old knowledge dies out and the new takes its place."
The good news is that we have control over our own health and we don't have to sit on this new knowledge and do nothing.
If you already have root canals or have been told you need one, make an appointment with a holistic dentist to get checked out. Then start taking steps toward getting dental implants made of Zirconia (ceramic) and take control of your health.
To find a local holistic dentist near you, visit: CeramicDentalImplants.com and click on "Find a Dentist".